iPad vs Laptop vs

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by RLS24, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    I'm at a bit of a technological crossroads: My current laptop is aging. I've had it since college (so its about 6 years old), and was VERY good when I bought it. It still keeps up with my computing needs for the most part, but I cannot use it as a laptop anymore cuz the battery is shot so it always has to be plugged in. That doesn't bother me so much because I have it hooked up to a monitor and keyboard/mouse so basically I'm running it like a desktop anyway. I'm looking for something that I can take with me to do estimates and customer consultations. I am debating between keeping my current setup with the laptop as my main office computer for now (prob will replace it anyway over the summer when I have more money) and get an iPad or similar tablet, OR buy a nice desktop computer for my office NOW and then spend some money on having my laptop fixed up (new battery, etc) and take that around with me. If I use the laptop, I'd wipe everything off of the hard drive except my landscape design software, Quickbooks, and all of my landscape related pictures (before and after type things). That would prob make it run a little faster and un-clog it a bit haha. I don't know much about the tablets and what their abilities are as compared to a laptop for this type of use. Opinions?
  2. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,920

    In the same situation as you so I had bought a droid tablet. I have yet to bring it out in the field for a dozen reasons. I have had it for roughly 2 months and haven't had the time to set it up like I need it.

    I was going to do a slide show of my clients properties....having a hard time with the slide show app not working right. Then I have had issues with transfering photos from my PC and other cell to the tablet.

    I bought quickbooks online so that I could run mobile with my program for estimates,invoices & more. I have had a hard time transitioning my invoice template from my QB 2008 on my PC over to the online version. That has delayed use even more

    Once I get all of these issues and more figured out I think it will be a great investment.

    I wouldn't hesitate to get a Ipad or similar to replace a laptop. At this point they can do almost as much as any computer. It all depends on how much time you can devote to setting it up and keeping it up to date. Since everything I need is on my old PC I keep running back to using that seeing that im short on time and always in a hurry.
  3. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    Not sure what you have for a laptop. But I have picked up batteries from amazon for around $100 for dell and sony. Have found them to be just as good as the original ones.
  4. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Bunton Guy, what are you using for portfolio presentation? Because I like to jump around by category I'm using Fotolio for my Nexus - love it.
  5. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    My hope with the iPad is that it would be more of a seamless transition since I already have an iPhone. I want to do this now in the winter while I have plenty of downtime so I can play around with it.

    Its a Dell. When I bought the thing, I had every option you could get, accept for some reason I missed the part about the battery upgrade so I ended up with the lowest battery possible, which in its prime would only run the computer for like a half hour. Can I upgrade to a better battery now or would I have to get the exact same one it came with?
  6. Horizon Jay

    Horizon Jay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    First off if your computer is full (no memory left) it will run terrible! Also about laptop. Technology is changing so fast that for $350 you can probably replace it with a new one that would blow it out of the water. Top of the line 6 yrs ago has been replaced. I am a biased Apple fan ( you've been warned!) I say Ipad all the way! You can keep your laptop at home plugged in and take the Ipad on the go! I would highly recommend a good case for it or any tablet though. I have an Ipad 2 with a Griffin Survivor case. It is idiot proof (thats me) and kid proof (so far). I havent figured out how to use it to show a design or a plan on it but, I did sell a nice hardscape/plant install this summer with an Ipad! I used it on the initial meeting to show different plant and stone options (pictures/slideshow to help them decide what plants they actually like). Then I created a design on paper and showed them the pictures of each plant (google image search, right click save as;) on the Ipad on their porch. Worked like a charm! Not only were they happy with the plans but they loved the use of the "new" technology to show them exactly what they were getting where. (seriously though I asked them if they liked the Ipad demo and they said Yes). I am sure there are programs that, like a laptop, have a 3d visual slide show/movie of the plan available for the Ipad I just dont have one yet. (they have apps for everything!) Its lighter, more portable than a laptop and for the most part can do all of the same things! Also, if you are concerned with the crossover from a pc to the ipad dont be. If you have pictures you want and cant get them on the ipad, email them to yourself and download on the ipad. Done! (Itunes works well to sync it though and does work with pc). They are bascially plug and play. If you have any problems with it or tech questions, ask me. I may be able to help! Good luck!
    I will add that most tablets are all capable of doing the same thing. Buy what you like (you are paying more for the Apple name, remember that). I have Iphone, MacBook Pro already so Ipad was a no brainer. Apple syncs very well together. A cheaper android tablet will do the exact same thing! Seriously it will...
  7. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    Thats why the title of my thread was left open so people could make other suggestions! I do have the iPhone now so I know syncing it with the PC will not be a problem. I agree about the case, I have the Lifeproof case for my phone, best $80 I spent! I'll have to look at the Andriod tablets, maybe I can get some deal with Verizon to add one of those with internet onto my plan fora reasonable amount.
  8. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I have the extended battery for my dell. I did the same as you and ordered every bell and whistle for it. Every choice I had, I chose the highest quality, memory, speed etc. for some reason I also went with the standard battery. At the time I figured I wouldn't run it off the battery that often. I plug it in in the office and I have a inverters in the trucks. The extended batteries for it will fit as long as the battery lists your model number. The only complaint I have about the extended battery is that it is about 3/4 of an inch thicker than stock. So it makes the back of the lap top thicker. The laptop case I use is already full of so much stuff that the laptop nearly fits in. On the plus side, being thicker it lifts the back of the laptop up and puts the keyboard at an angle. Simular to how a desk top keyboard normally, so it is a more comfortable when doing a lot of typing.
  9. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    I am looking to go with something like this Samsung. It is a larger tablet at 11.6", and can dock with a separate keyboard to make it much like a laptop. I need a tablet for the new software we are going with, which is Hindsite Solutions. With the tablet in the field, I can easily enter all the info from the jobsite, which then uploads back to QB at the office. Then if I'm doing a lot of QB data entry, or word/excel/photo type work, I can dock with the keyboard.

    My current laptop, which is on its second battery that is almost shot, will live at the office with QB and the full Hindsite software on it. I can access both with a secondary program that lets me log in remotely. I've never used a Mac/Apple machine, and don't want to change over at this point. Not that I have anything against it, just never used either.
  10. branchoutshrub

    branchoutshrub LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    We use the ipad for on the road stuff and a laptop back at the office. Works very well for our situation.

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